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January 28, 2022

Primary Wave Music Celebrates 70th Anniversary Of Sun Records

The independent publishing powerhouse Primary Wave Music is celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Sun Records through new commemorative 70th Anniversary product launches, strategic partnerships, multimedia projects, and branding initiatives.

Established in 1952 by Sam Phillips, Sun Records is the home of music legends including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison, and was instrumental in launching the careers of pioneers Linda Martell, Jeannie C Riley, The Dixie Cups, Howlin’ Wolf, Rosco Gordon, and many more. Inherent in the music of Sun is a vibrance that has reached across race, age, and gender boundaries. This year, Sun Records celebrates the diversity and vision of the talent that has helped shape American popular culture for 70 years.

“The rooster and rising sun on the Sun Records label conveys Sam Phillips’ conviction that every new day was an opportunity for something new, and Sam capitalized on this belief as Sun Records became one of the most popular labels of the twentieth century” says John Singleton, President of Sun Record Company.  “As Sun enters its eighth decade, Primary Wave is continuing Sam Phillips’ belief by unleashing many new things that will enhance the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the birth of Sun Records in 1952.  Primary Wave is doing this because of their passion and respect for Sun’s legacy and its forever place in popular music”.

In regard to their extensive preservation efforts, Primary Wave Music has already begun to dive deep into the vaults of this iconic brand exploring, restoring and archiving a wealth of Sun artifacts including unreleased material, demos, full session outtakes, historical photography and other family tree assets that weave together the web of connectivity within Sun and how it relates to the rest of music history. Starting this month, Sun Records will begin releasing 70th Anniversary products including authentic commemorative vinyl curated by Sun Artists, family members, and other notables who will be writing personal liner notes for each.

Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio offerings, along with digital Artist of the Month campaigns will also help celebrate the anniversary, as a new official book which is being produced outlining the story of Sun in 70 recordings and the artists who recorded on the yellow Sun label, from 1952 to 1968. As with the launch of the new official Sun Records website and e-commerce store where fans can explore the rich history of this legendary label and shop a new line of Sun apparel, accessories and more. Included in this unique offering and exclusive to the Sun Records web-site, will be a commemorative 70th Anniversary box and t-shirt offering with the box serving as the perfect holding place for the 12 limited vinyl albums being released this year.

The first release Sun Records 70th Anniversary Compilation Vol. 1, curated by Chris Isaak, was released on January 21.

“Putting together the music for Sun Records’ 70th Anniversary was so much fun to be a part of and a trip through time” says, Chris Isaak. “From Blues to Rock and Roll, it’s the music I love and sort of a soundtrack to my life. Listening to, and cherry-picking music from Sun’s iconic catalog, brought back so many memories – from hearing my dad play these records when I was a kid, to stumbling on a Japanese release of Elvis’s Sun Hits while I was boxing in Japan, to me singing these songs when I first dared to step on stage. Looking back, I still have the same favorites, but over the years I’ve discovered a few obscure gems and my list keeps growing. When I recorded my own album of Sun favorites, I realized picking “The Best” of Sun Records is a wonderfully impossible task. It’s like going into King Solomon’s mine and trying to take out just a handful of treasure.”

Official Sun Records 70th Anniversary commemorative releases and merchandise are available for purchase via the new Sun Records Merch Store.

In addition to the above offerings, Primary Wave Music plans to launch a Sun Records podcast entitled, “Midnight at the Sun Diner” later in 2022. The launch of “Midnight at the Sun Diner” is also the first of many activations that will take place over the next year to celebrate Sun’s platinum anniversary. Through a series of set pieces, the podcast will weave in the tales of Sun Recording artists and take a deeper dive into the legacy of the label and studio, ultimately telling the story of the famed label through the personal history of its artists. Each episode will also feature performances of songs from the Sun Records catalog of music with a discussion to follow by contemporary artists. Future plans for the podcast will also include recording artists performing their favorite Sun Records songs LIVE from the Sun Diner.

The following is the official 2022 Sun Records 70th Anniversary series release schedule with additional releases to be announced.

  • Jul. 22  Bettye LaVette: Title TBD (Remastered)
  • Aug. 19 – Various Artists: Sun Records 70th Anniversary Compilation, Vol. 2
  • Sep. 23 – Jerry Lee Lewis: Title TBD (Remastered)
  • Oct. 21 – Johnny Cash: With His Hot & Blue Guitar (Remastered)
  • Nov. 18 – Various Artists: Sun Records 70th Anniversary Compilation, Vol. 3
  • Dec. 9 – Various Artists: Sun Records 70th Anniversary Compilation, Vol. 4 – Curated by Jerry Phillips

Sun Records is also excited to announce Paul Rodgers (singer-songwriter for Bad Company & Free), who recently partnered with Primary Wave, will be releasing a new single “Coming Home” in March on Sun Records (exact date TBD) with more new music to follow.

“To partner with and sign to Sun Records, a label that introduced rock and roll to the world is beyond a dream, especially for this kid from Middlesbrough, England.They introduced me to musicians Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Elvis Presley and many others who set me on my musical adventures.” – Paul Rodgers

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